Las Vegas Mass Shooting: Thoughts on the Tragedy From a Teacher & Mother by Nicole DeAvilla

6 years ago

Las Vegas Mass Shooting: Thoughts on the Tragedy From a Teacher & Mother

What do you do, what do you say to your kids, when there is yet another shooting, another tragedy? I woke up this morning to the news of the Las Vegas shooting. Then I saw this beautiful Facebook post from middle school teacher and author, Melissa Deever Stephens:

“Today kicks off our Be the Change Week at school. When I awoke to the news of Vegas, I was swallowed by sadness and fear: fear that my Vegas or AZ friends were there, fear that some of my students' parents could be there, fear for our country and world. I said to my husband, ‘How can I talk to the kids at school today about being the Change when we wake up to this? How can I stand there and not sob for the world?’ And he said, ‘This is exactly why you need this week. Because who knows what a simple act of kindness can do to change someone's life from anger to feeling loved. To possibly preventing someone from doing this in the future.’ And he is right. So right. I will hold each of my kids tightly today and continue to teach about service, kindness and love. I will not walk in fear but go forth in love.”

Let’s all go forth in love, hold our kids tightly and continue to teach by our example and words about service, kindness and love. 

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Elisa Schmitz
OMG, this is so powerful, and just what I needed to hear right now. Thank you, Melissa Stephens , and thank you, Nicole DeAvilla , for sharing this inspiring reflection at such a difficult time! xoxo
Melissa Stephens
Thank you, Elisa. I have had a beautiful day of discussion with my students about continuing to press forward with love and kindness. They inspire me each day to be resilient :)
Nicole DeAvilla
You are such an inspiring teacher! And mom Melissa Stephens ! Thanks for this. Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds and I would love to hear about how you inspired your kids in the class room and how they inspire you.
Elisa Schmitz
How wonderful, Melissa Stephens ! I am glad that some good came of such tragedy. We need to inspire the next generation to lead with love, as you describe so beautifully. I hope you will share more with us as a contributor to 30Seconds. Your voice is powerful and we would love to share it throughout our community, thank you! xoxo
S Roberts
Aside from feeling like what I’d imagine it would feel like to be kicked in the stomach when my husband told me early this morning was quickly accompanied by the dread of having to tell the kids. Especially my 13 yr old son who tends to be sensitive, but he really didn’t say anything. I asked if he were upset and he just said he’s used to it! I had no response.
So when he got home from school I was gently quizzing him on what went on at school, if they had an assembly, classroom discussion, talking between friends about it? He said, “Mom, the people who do this are really screwed up and there’s nothing you can do to stop them. I feel bad for the victims, but it’s going to happen again and again. It’s just the world we live in, so there’s no point in keep talking about it”.
Even after reading this (which is so comforting) I’m still trying to process what is his point of view and keep asking myself if I should try to help him see a different point of view or just let him be?
For what it’s worth, when we returned from taking him to school my husband was on a forum he belongs to that’s for the type of airplane he has. Just so happened a guy was on who knew the shooter personally. He loved his mom, guns and spent almost all his time in Reno playing slots and gambling. One of those kind of people who you’d least expect to do something like this.
Elisa Schmitz
Ugh, Stacey Roberts , I'm so sorry. I hate that our kids are growing up in a world where mass shootings are just part of life. I hope our kids don't get so jaded that it becomes no big deal. I'm sure our kids are dealing with this in their own way, and I wish I had more insight into how to help them. I hope you check out all of the tips shared by our great experts. They all seem to share a similar theme: LOVE is the answer. xoxo Nicole DeAvilla Melissa Stephens
Nicole DeAvilla
Hi Stacey Roberts . I hear you. This is hard. It's why I wrote this tip with Melissa Stephens and an opinion piece on the subject.

Our children have seen so much more of this senseless type of carnage than we ever did. As a country we have to ask why has it become so commonplace? What is different? The types of guns and ammunition that is readily available, is one factor that has changed.

Next we as adults, need to lean in on our local, state and federal representatives to change laws. Having a personal war arsenal of military style weapons and ammunition is not, I believe what our founding fathers intended when they spoke of the right to bear arms.

I for one try to tell my kids that it wasn't always this way and that we can still make a difference.

Sure whackos can still get guns -- but what if only a fraction of the number of people get killed instead of breaking a new record in deaths in such cases? We all would benefit.

Everytown is a common sense gun control advocacy group. I get their text messages and have been on one of the walks they hold from time to time. I think they are a great resource.

Here is my other tip. Love to hear your comments there as well if you feel so inclined: mom: Gun Violence & Gun Control: My Perspective Following the Las Vegas Mass Shooting
S Roberts
Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds All-Schmitz Nicole DeAvilla thank for your feedback and I saw this am where I should’ve made this comment in the one you mentioned Nicole, but it was late last night when I checked my email and this was the only one I took time to respond to. I’ve since read all the others, but honestly as I see it, this is a mental heath issue and like you said Nicole, we do not need military type guns. Seems though when you start talking laws there are the extremists who want to take all guns away. I’ll take this over to the other tip because I have thoughts about the mental health issue that plays such a huge part in this...imho.

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